The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is a department of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) that uses behavioral sciences to assist in criminal investigations. The mission of the NCAVC and the BAU's is to provide behavioral-based investigative and/or operational support by applying case experience, research, and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes, typically involving acts or threats of violence.

Hannibal TV Series Edit

The Behavioral Analysis Units in NBC's Hannibal consists of

  • Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford, head of Behavioral Sciences at the FBI and Graham's boss
  • Special Agent Will Graham, a gifted criminal profiler and hunter of serial killers
  • Special Agent Beverly Katz, a crime-scene investigator specializing in fiber analysis
  • Jimmy Price, a crime-scene investigator specializing in latent fingerprints
  • Brian Zeller, a crime-scene investigator specializing in determining the victims' causes of death

References in popular cultureEdit

The BAU was brought into mainstream culture by television shows such as Criminal Minds, which depict an elite group of "FBI profilers" who travel the country assisting local law enforcement on diverse cases.

The CBS weekly drama series Criminal Minds and its spin-off, Criminal MInds: Suspect Behavior both feature the BAU. Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels and the corresponding films (Manhunter, The Silence of Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon) featured the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU), which later created and developed what eventually became known as the BAU. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Signature" (season 9, no. 12, January 8, 2008) heavily features a member of the BAU. Also, in season 5 of the HBO show The WIre two detectives go visit the BAU team in Quantico for a profile of the "fake" serial killer they are investigating.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such position in the FBI called "profiler", a position commonly seen on television and in cinema.


Envisioned as ’80s Brutalist architecture. Such buildings can be found on the FBI campus in Quantico, VA, where there is also a new state-of-the-art forensics lab, which we would interpret in our own way. On a preliminary scouting trip to Toronto, we found The University of Toronto Scarborough and David gave us treated photographs of the buildings with a cool, steely look. (Patti Podesta, “Hannibal’s” production designer)


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